Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

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cody0707
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Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by cody0707 »

I am wanting to get a boat for fishing around in the creeks and flats out around St Marks. 90% of the time I will be solo. I am leaning towards the Jon boat due to all the rocks and oyster bars but I wanted to get you all's opinion. Which would be a better craft?
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bbb
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Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by bbb »

I would probably stay away from fiberglass too. One good strike from a rock or oyster bar and you will be bailing water. Get at least a welded 1448, while something 16ft or longer would give you more confidence on those choppy days.
STMU
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by STMU »

I moved here with a gheenoe 6 years ago and sold it within a month for a Jon boat. Given the fiberglass, rocks, oysters, and open water runs, I'd stick with a Jon boat.
rockyg
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by rockyg »

I have had both and fished them extensively at SM. The only Gheenoe to consider is a Low Tide 25 model, all the others are too small and tippy. I loved my LT-25 with a tiller 25 Yamaha. She was fast and fun, as quiet as a whisper and I caught a TON of fish out of her. Basically a one-person boat, 2 if you are not big like me. A trolling motor and a power pole micro on the back and you have a heck of a machine. However, it's not for big water and big waves. I never took it out on the flats, just ran the shoreline and fished the creeks.

I also had a 15/48 simple aluminum jon boat. Same basic setup. Hated it for SM. It was great for pond fishing, but it sounded like a monkey beating a metal drum when running and fishing. It would also beat your spine up into your neck in any kind of a chop.

The sweet spot is probably an expensive welded modified v aluminum boat with the liner floor where they fill the void with foam. Those are a lot quieter and ride a bit better.

Personally, I went to an 18' flats skiff. It won't go where the LT would, but its very comfortable and I'm old. Yes, you have to pay strict attention to the rocks and the tide or you will damage and/or destroy your ride. (45 years of fishing in the same area helps......a lot)
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rockyg
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by rockyg »

Actually, the sweet spot is an Aluminum mud-motor boat, a Gheenoe LT-25, a nice 17 or 18' flats skiff, and a fancy bay boat in all stored in a big garage.

Now you have it covered. :)
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RCS
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by RCS »

Gheenoe-wise, the LT25 would be my first pick, but I wouldn't rule out a Classic. The LT25 is slightly larger and takes chop better, but both boats are extremely stable. That being said, if you plan to run the main river [boat traffic], none of the Gheenoes have much in the way of freeboard. If you elect to go the fiberglass route, I would look into the Salt Marsh 1444 or 1656. You may also be able to find an old Pathfinder 15/17T.
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Red Beard
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by Red Beard »

John Boat all the way, Fishing machines!


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FishWithChris
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by FishWithChris »

Tin for sure. No question

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silverking
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by silverking »

Fished a few times with RockyG in his LT25. It was a stealthy machine, but not suitable for open water like the flats when the sea breeze picked up or the river when 10,000 sand bar idiots are racing back to the dock.

If you're really serious, check out these Texas machines:
https://www.sabineskiffs.com/micro

Closer to home, Scandy-White or a couple other custom aluminum builders (Blackwell?) in the Blountstown area can make a modified V welded aluminum jon that would be the bomb for most of the shallow zones in Apalachee Bay. Lower power requirement, shallow draft, decent ride and durability against those rocks and oyster bars that get up and move around in the night.
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Redbelly
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by Redbelly »

I had a tunnel Scandy White with rear seat stick steer that was a beast. The hull was very similar to a Pathfinder 17T. In chop it rode ruff and was wet. Then I had a G3 1756 CC. It rode ruff but I could stand and that helped, it was a bit drier than the Scandy. Both were shallow draft with the Scandy at 1/8" thick tin being heavier and got bottomed out a time or two.
Right now I have an 18' Action Craft that rides like a cadillac compared to those tin boats. This winter I used my 14' jon around Aucilla for the creeks and ran the shoreline.

So I like FG better for the ride, tin for the draft. Bad scraps on the FG I patch with marietex.
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1988 vintage 1436 Fisher Jon
1992 vintage 15 hp Merc
cody0707
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by cody0707 »

Thanks for the feedback. I think until I really get to know the area I’ll go the welded tin boat route.


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rockyg
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by rockyg »

Redbelly what kind of Action Craft do you have?

I've had 3 of them over the years. Currently in a 1998 1820 SE with a new Yamaha 115 SHO. The hull is 2 owner, garage kept since day one and in beautiful shape for a 23 year old boat. Frankly, it's bilge is cleaner than my nearly new Pathfinder. lol
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PhishingNole
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by PhishingNole »

Can anyone recommend what to look for in a used aluminum boat for this area?

I'd like to comfortably fish at least two adult men, handle the flats on a nice day, and get into the creeks reasonably skinny.

I get that there's nothing that can do it all, but what makes for the best compromise?

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Redbelly
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by Redbelly »

rockyg I have an '03 1802 in good shape for its age. It has an '03 150 Yamaha and I currently have it for sale, Ithink a buyer is coming soon.

PhishingNole any tracker bass aluminum style, jon, cc tin boat will work. I have fished from Rock Island to Shell Point in a 1544 alumacraft with a 25 tiller, also a 16' jon. Just be a sailorman! LOL
Back years ago when there was a 12" limit on trout we fished out of a old style glass bass boat......
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1988 vintage 1436 Fisher Jon
1992 vintage 15 hp Merc
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Red Beard
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Re: Jon boat or Gheenoe for flats

Post by Red Beard »

PhishingNole wrote:Can anyone recommend what to look for in a used aluminum boat for this area?

I'd like to comfortably fish at least two adult men, handle the flats on a nice day, and get into the creeks reasonably skinny.

I get that there's nothing that can do it all, but what makes for the best compromise?

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Put boat plugs in. Fill with water. If there are no leaks it’s good to go.


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